Posted: Jun 14, 2010 3:00 pm
by Shrunk
TMB wrote: Does this make it any clearer?

Not really. All of the effective interventions you identified above are part of "allopathic" medicine, and you have not provided a single instance where "alternative" diagnostic or therapeutic techniques were helpful. It's fortunate that the alternative practitioners you encountered were well-versed enough in conventional medicine to be able to identify the possible correct diagnoses and refer to the appropriate specialists, but that's hardly evidence that conventional medicine is ineffective. Quite the opposite, it seems to me.

Your account is very revealing, however, of how "alternative" medicine manages to thrive. If we look at what treatments have been helpful for you in your own account:

Treatment of acute bacterial infection with antibiotics.

Identification of dust mite allergy, and interventions to reduce exposure to allergen.

Identification of celiac disease, implementation of dietary modification with resolution of symptoms.

All of the above are evidence based, "allopathic" interventions. On top of these, you make references to herbal remedies and iridology, but with nothing to suggest that these have actually produced any benefit beyond your conviction that they have. However, because of the type of interactions you have had with the "alternative" practitioners, you are inclined to give them credit for your improvement, while suggesting that allopathic treatments only succeeded despite themselves.

In my experience, where alternative practitioners do tend excel, in comparison to conventional doctors, is in interpersonal skills and "bedside manner", the ability to make a client feel that they are being listened to and that their problems are being taken seriously and given individual attention. Your are quite right to suggest that modern medicine's emphasis on high tech interventions and funding models that reward high-volume practices have increasingly tended to render such traditional values as anachronistic. That's a real problem and an unfortunate situation, but it is not an indictment of "allopathic"medicine as a whole, so much as of the social, political and economic conditions under which it is currently typically practiced.

I applaud your generosity and courage in sharing your personal story with us, and am genuinely happy that you have at least been able to have some resolution of your illnesses. Hoever, I think your story only serves to further demonstrate that the successes of "alternative" medicine are ones of marketing and persuasion, not of actually efficacy.